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interview tips for chefs jobs Be prepared for those Interview Questions

Picture the scene:

It’s that important chef job recruitment interview, a pinnacle of your career moment, everything is really better than you imagined it could. You look and sound professional and extraordinarily there'snot a swear word spoken, you’re totally prepared, researched, you are on a roll. You're nailing every interview question put to you.
    You have that connection with the group of interviewers, The director, head of HR and group manager and our interviewer. It’s going so well with no sweat, the jobs is in the bag..your starting to get relaxed then, suddenly, out of the blue, one asks you:

"Imagine you could trade places with anyone for just a week. The person could be famous or not famous, living or from history, real or fictional. With whom would you trade places and why?"

Or

"If aliens landed in their spacecraft in your garden, with you there and, in exchange for anything you want or desire you had to fill a position on their planet, what would you want?"


It takes all you can do to keep your jaw from dropping… and laughing out loud, but its a real quality interviewer, your minds confused what and how to answer the question and not to sound like a bubbling fool.

You're stunned. You feel your mouth drying up and sweat forming on your forehead, that itch on your bum has suddenly got a whole lot worse as you feel that slide of the chair moment, your head is spinning, and your mind is a blank. You're thinking, you righten yourself, take stock, then suddenly into your head that little green goblin repeats the question..  why in the world is she asking me such an absurd question?just chefs jobs

Welcome Chef to the world of the "Alien interview questions" -- weird, wacky, gimmicky, and off-beat “the Alien Question" questions that seem to have nothing to do with your ability to handle a job or kitchen. But if they're irrelevant to job performance, why do employers ask them?

In a nutshell its to see how well you can think on your feet… brag and you fail, recruiters want to see what and if you'll get rattled. Your response is to test your creativity or sense of humour..a test of pressure and resources and your spirit in a pressured environment.

Employers looking for chefs who ask these so of the wall questions no doubt may feel the questions do relate to job performance. In creating stress by asking you such a weird question, the interviewer may be testing how well you'll respond to the stress of the kitchen and an insight your character.

Recruiters have vast resources at their disposal in the form of recruitment books, articles, recruiting experience, training and websites on how to respond to traditional and even those tricky behavioural interview questions after all it is to get past your pre-programmed answers to find out if you are capable of an original train of thought and presenting a reasonable answer.

Some of the strangest questions I've been presented with over my past have been, - you've stunning eyes, godlike.. if you was a Roman God what one and why would you be ? ( Roman Gods..omg .. what the f...  who's that great lover.. sprung to mind) 

Of course, there is the possibility that some employers are just plainly sadistic and want to see you squirm, or they relish the amusement of seeing how you'll answer an impossible question.

These questions can be virtually anything, they are nearly impossible for you to prepare for. Still, some, like the questions about being/meeting/dining with a famous person past or present have been around for a while but are still worth preparing an answer for -- just in case.

The ultimate key to responding to an "alien" question is for it not to rattle you, think of it as you the Chef, you're in that hot environment in middle of a Saturday night service your duck is sliced, your lambs on the plate, puree is to perfection and the lone waitress calls wonders to the hot plate and those infamous words "Chef"  and then "can I explain…  one fish salad, no salad can I change the fish to the smoked calves liver, extra liver as there not having no salad". It’s a case of - don't adopt a deer-in-the-headlights look if you get hit with one of these spine-chilling queries. Simply smile - if you can, take a breather with a moment to compose your response. A little bit of silence is better than blurting out something even sillier than the question. You don't have to be dazzling you don't have to be witty, just be yourself and give an honest polite response. If the worse comes to worst and you absolutely cannot think of a reasonable response, ask if you can come back to that question later. You may lose a few thinking-on-your-feet credits, but you'll gain points for handling a difficult situation with a little poise and reflection.

Above all, take comfort in the fact that there is rarely a wrong answer to these offbeat alien questions there to unnerve you and see your reaction. Some responses can raise a few recruiter’s eyebrows.

 I once had the opportunity to interview a chef de partie, I threw in some of these questions just to see the response.. yes I'm a little sadistic sometimes, nevertheless, I would get answers of `Donald Duck, Santa, Snow white ' to `chef Gordon Ramsay’ as a response to the famous-person question, what I hear you cry, Santa? snow white? but rather than thinking the first thought of Chef, is they being in fairy-tail land ?, I promptly asked why? with baited breath.. I got the responses of "I want to be the first person to See Santa,? I want to know what a Duck thinks and snow white is the only girl I know that doesn't age"...  and chef Ramsay was aspiring to there’re goals..

If you can turn your answer into something job-related with humor , that's a bonus, but it's probably above the expectations of the interviewer. For example, if you're interviewing for a head chefs job and are asked "what would you do if you were given a Deer as a Christmas present??".. you could give a clever response about how you'd teach everyone some techniques and get everyone involved in preparing.. . "but I'd first check to see if it had any special powers"  or "did Bambi get lost I guess they won't be doing a remake"

Chef Site has looked up some sample "alien" questions.. Be aware that studying this list of questions may be no help at all if you're ever asked a weird question because you may be asked something totally different from any of these. But the point is to expect the unexpected and looking over these questions will at least give you some flavour of what you might be asked and enable you to do a little out of the box thought on how you might respond when you're asked such a question just as strange as :

  • If you could be any two-legged animal in a forest what would it be?  maybe a trick one here, a human? 
  • If superman and batman had a fight.. who would win?
  • If the moon was to explode tomorrow.. what would you do?
  • If you saw a chef walk out of a kitchen where you are eating.. would you help?
  • If you could be any character in action film, whom would you be?  
  • If Hollywood made a cartoon about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
  • If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you have? what would be your weakness?
  • If your cooker could speak, what would it say about you?

Now that you are interview ready why not find a job as a chef in the working kitchens of hospitality.